Absolutely nothing compares to a dog’s unconditional love and loyalty. Always by your side, always happy to do whatever it is you may ask, always ready for the next adventure, dogs are the best companions humans are lucky to have.
While some people may not appreciate how many dogs love to dig, MK Colin has a very different perspective with his dog, Trevor. Digging was just one of Trevor’s talents. This beautiful passage is a piece all dog lovers should read.
The Things Inside My Shed
My shed is like a lot of other sheds. It’s an old shed, flirting with almost 25 years now. There’s some rust in parts, it has some dents, but so do I. There’s tools galore that assisted in building, fixing, destroying and defending our tiny corner of the world. They’re proud of a job well done. Strewn are pieces of memories that beg for momentum to be remembered.
Raising their hand to answer the question of glory past. In the corner is a shovel splintered with half the handle cut off. The narrowing part that comes to form a rounded point in most shovels is gone. It’s now a straight line at the end, a good couple inches gone. The tip gnarled and bent from the deeds done. It’s Trevor’s shovel.
Trevor and I built an empire. We must’ve dug close to a hundred holes with that old shovel. More’n two dozen trees easy. Shrubs, gardens, flowers, we did it all. And boy could that dog dig. It’s a spring day, that was our favorite time, that promised of projects we’d handle together. The elements, the weeds, Mother Earth herself didn’t stand a chance when we were together. The radio is playing, there might have been a couple beers involved. We both always wore matching outfits covered in dirt from head to tail.
Our projects lasted longer than need be, but we didn’t care. You can’t compromise when diggin’ a good hole. We saw eye to eye on that subject. That and belly rubs, binky spots and I got your sock.
Every time I got a few inches to our goal further, he’d have to jump in and help. It took a while to convince him to get out so I could continue. His tail waggin’ his bottom where he’d almost lose his balance and tongue smilin’ anticipation. He would then jump right back in diggin’ like tomorrow didn’t promise another. You’d be surprised how long it took to dig a good hole with a pair that knew a thing or two ‘bout diggin’, I don’t mind tellin’ you.
Trevor was a rescue pup and then he returned the favor ten-fold. When he found his home he spent half the time finding new ways to hurt himself. He worried me sick. One of many trips to the vet, the doctor came in to the room shaking his head highlighted with pursed lips patting a big stack of papers falling from place with the edges bent and torn in places.
Spilling from a folder not big enough for my boy’s peculiarities. “Oh, Trevs, what have you done now, you’re building quite a file here.” Looking back, seems he weren’t even pret’nr half way done to the finish line then. They were going to need a bigger file.
He spent the other half of his time doing what I told him not to do. One of the highlights of his best work was an entire set of outside furniture, two lounges a couple of chairs whose innards now decorated a good quarter acre. Total toast in my best estimation in under 20 minutes. Any toys didn’t last half that time. He was that good. More grit than God ever gave, that one.
In the beginning he was the best jumper you ever saw, maybe a notch better than his art of digging. Three stairs at a time like he was flying.
As the years went by he cut the number down. When the time together began to close there was a big storm, foot of snow if an inch. He ran through it jumping over two foot I swear like a puppy rivaling his best work. When the winter thawed he kissed his brother and curled up to his favorite shady spot. He looked up for help shy he wasn’t the jumper anymore.
I carried him where he needed to go until morning and held him the night. Held him to the end and his last kiss. Our last project together to the vet. The end of the file. I left his touch and turned away unable to look with outstretched arm and asked for his collar and leash. Tears wishing for one more Spring day. A desperate plea that couldn’t be.
In my shed is something that defies logic. It’s small, but bigger than most anything I know. It’s old and sings youth. It’s dirty, stained and torn but flawless.. It’s something that everyone has, some more than others. It can make the poor rich, the rich poor without. There’s many that should have rivers of it. But the canteen usually seems dry standing in a desert.
Some may seem to another that they may not have it, but those are never without. Some find it too late and lose what they never had. Like a garden, it needs to be tended to, nourished, before it gives back. It defines the every essence of life. Without it the gift was never delivered.
Hanging from an old nail pounded new with hope and duty some 20 years ago hangs his leash. On it is a dog tag bent. How he did that I’ll never know. Engraved heralds “Trevor4Ever” … and he is. Underneath his leash is our shovel boasting yesterday, that Spring is tomorrow forever and any day is a good day to dig a new hole.
This we tell the other most everyday since he left. In these confines the memory armies of happy & sad take the battle field for domination. Sometimes one in the same when a truce is called and the truth wins.
In that old rusty shed I store my gratitude.
And he waits for another Spring waggy and wishing.
But not worried, he knows his shovel is in good hands.
While Our Hope Springs Eternal.
Submitted by: MK Colin